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Hawkeye #1 Review

In this brand new Hawkeye series, Kate Bishop is back on her own in Los Angeles, trying to make it as a private investigator — and still superhero-ing on the side. Is it good?

Hawkeye #1 (Marvel Comics)

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Kate Bishop, AKA the female Hawkeye, is back in California, trying to run a private investigation agency in a tiny office in Santa Monica. And despite being a former Avenger (and thanks to her shaky art skills), she’s having a hard time getting clients. But when a young college student with an online stalker comes looking for help, Hawkeye leaps into action.

Is It Good?

Kate Bishop has been one of my consistently favorite characters in the Marvel universe, so seeing her in an official solo book is really exciting. Thompson and team seem to be working from the Fraction/Aja/Wong Hawkeye storyline (and that characterization as well) and that’s a good thing. While other heroes are name-dropped early on, specifically Jessica Jones, this book is no Alias and nor should it be. The lighter tone fits Kate’s youth and inexperience, and how that plays out through the book was satisfying and fun to read. This comic reads almost like a YA novel, which really works for the character.

Thompson does a great job of building off the characterization that Fraction & Wong established in their aforementioned Hawkeye run. Kate Bishop knows how to hustle, and she’s going to push herself as hard as she can to accomplish her goals, but that also leads her to act impulsively, throwing herself into situations before she really has a full grasp on the situation. I like that she’s a fully fleshed out character, a little narrowly focused, impatient, and her saving people thing can get her into trouble.

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Leonardo Romero’s style also complements the previous Hawkeye work; his simple lines and detailed-but-not-cluttered pages have similarities to David Aja, but are distinctly his own style. I love Jordie Bellaire’s rich and bold palette, which enriches the young adult feel of the book. I especially liked the purple Hawkeye targets as Kate takes in various scenes (I always appreciate hot abs).

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My only nitpicks would be that sometimes Kate’s got a little too much inner monologue, and is overly quippy, out loud and in her head. I think Thompson is trying a bit too hard to sell Kate’s being young, and it’s just a hair too much.

This is a solid start to what is going to be a great book and a nice addition to the Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, etc lineup of kickass Marvel girls.

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